The launch of a Northumberland base by a Scottish haulier has helped put it four years ahead of plan and achieve 50% of its annual sales target in just six months.
Grampian Continental, which invested £70,000 in its first North East operation late last year, says the news means the company is now on track to hit the £20m turnover mark by 2015.
The recent surge in sales at Grampian, which also has offices in Great Yarmouth, Holland and Italy and services 500 mainly oil and gas clients across Europe and North Africa, will allow it to gear up for further growth.
Sales director Gavin Murray said: “Expanding our operations into the North East was a strategic step and is already paying off, with around ï¿½500k worth of business on the books, putting us ahead of our business plan for the site.
“We were confident that there was a gap in the market for a specialist oil and gas transporter in this region, but we also set ourselves some realistic targets to match our ethos of sustainable growth.
“Having a dedicated presence here allows us to react quickly and deliver enhanced customer service, and the figures show this has been a big factor in developing our customer base.
“The Bedlington site has played a key part in achieving our group performance and we could not be more pleased about the welcome that the business community has given us.”
The firm is backing the A1 dualling campaign and has also benefited from the trend for closer partnerships between Aberdeen and North-East companies, with several big players in the oil and gas sector joining it in setting up operations south of the border.
Grampian Continental operates a varied and modern fleet able to transport a diverse range of loads, from 1kg up to more complex loads, such as 80-tonne offshore structures.
Set up in 2009 by Gavin Murray, Neil Bremner and Michael Lacey, the firm manages exports and imports across the UK, Europe and North Africa for more than 500 customers in the oil and gas sector, and employs 26 operational staff, not including drivers, across its depots.
The company won the Scottish European Haulier of the Year award in 2012.
The Bedlington base, which opened in November, boasts a 205 sq m warehouse along with an acre of yard space.
The opening of the office formed part of a five-year investment for the company.
It will see Grampian Continental expanding into new trade lanes within the United Kingdom, while focussing mainly on London, Manchester and the North East.
The opening of the Italian premises provided a platform to service the firm’s existing Italian customers and grow the international business, as far afield as Romania and Turkey.
The Verona base is made up of a 1,100 sq ft office and 1,500 sq ft of warehouse space.
It currently employs 26 operational staff, not including drivers, across its depots.
It will be attending the biannual SPE Offshore Europe exhibition at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, from September 3 to 6.
SPE Offshore Europe is one of the biggest offshore exhibitions held in Europe, with around 1,800 stands spread across 48,500 sq m of exhibition space, and the event attracts in the region of 50,000 visitors per exhibition from all over the world.
This will be the third year that Grampian Continental has attended the exhibition.
The company regularly transports goods to the Netherlands, Benelux regions, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Denmark and across the UK.
Within the oil and energy sectors, the company has specialist equipment capable of transporting nacelles weighing up to 85 tonnes and blades 49 metres in length.